The Gretna wrestling lineup took a 23-21 dual lead with three-straight pins before crashing into 182-pounder Braden Hanson and his senior teammates Tuesday evening.
The Blair Bear defended his home mat by first-period pin as BHS seniors won three of the four weight classes from 182 through heavyweight. Hanson, Dex Larsen and Lance Hume gave coach Erich Warner's squad a 39-29 advantage it'd turn into a 49-29 Senior Night win against the Dragons.
The victory pushed the Bears' dual record to 18-2 this season.
“It was really nice for it to be all of us seniors at the end,” said Hume, Blair's heavyweight. “Especially in a tighter dual like that where we had to win a majority of those matches to get ahead.”
Hanson's pin took just 1:26. The senior had Tim Kula's back to start the final sequence, finishing it by tucking both of the Gretna wrestlers arms behind his back before turning him over in one — strong — swoop.
Next, Larsen pinned the Dragons' Noah Ference in 3:18 after picking him up and planting the grappler to the mat multiple times.
After BHS senior Gabe Gaskill came up short at 220, Hume scored six team points in 25 seconds, putting Jake Lukis' shoulders to the mat after the Dragon's knee gave out underneath him.
“I just had to put it away,” the victorious Bear said.
Jesse Loges, Blair's 106-pounder, and Luke Frost posted two more wins to close the dual as the Bears pushed their winning margin to 20 points.
Atticus Dick, Charlie Powers and Karter Scott notched earlier BHS wins as did senior Shay Bailey at 132 pounds. Gretna's Caiden Isaacs scored the first takedown points against Bailey, but the BHS senior listened to his coaches and made the post of his opportunity on the mat with a first-period pin.
“Took my shots,” he said.
Blair's 12th-graders all did on a night that started with their introductions.
“Hard work always pays off when I listen to coaches and work my butt off in practice,” Bailey said when asked what he'd learned in his sport. “Wrestling with my teammates and supporting them is always the best.”
Hume also commented.
“It makes you a better person,” the heavyweight said. “It teaches you to fight for everything you want and need, and how to care for your teammates and take care of yourself.”